A Good Marriage – Who Meets Our Needs

 

Calm Body of Lake Between Mountains

God did not design marriage so that our mate can meet all of our needs. God desires to do that for us. He also gave us the ability to meet many of our own needs. We can ask our mate for what we need and want, but as a human being, he/she is not perfect.

 

God designed marriage so that we can meet one another’s needs – a reciprocal relationship of giving, not taking. We have physical, emotional, financial, mental and spiritual needs that are overwhelming at times.

 

However, God has a plan to meet all of our needs through His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). He may not provide what we want, but His supply is always better than and more than we can ever imagine.

 

Even if His answer is yet another trial, these issues drive us deeper under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:4). An intimate relationship with the God of the Universe is our comfort, and our constant supply.

 

Our mate is capable of giving us some of the attention and affection that we need as human beings, but expecting him/her to meet all of our needs is an impossible requirement.

 

The only reason our marriage carries the “happily ever after” label is due to the fact that we serve one another. As humans we can never be totally selfless, and neither should we serve our mate to our detriment – this is not healthy.

 

God does not want us to entertain impossible expectations for our spouse to fulfill, but rather, we are to do our best to serve him/her as God’s Spirit directs us all through the day. We learn to love each other with his/her love language. (see: the five love languages quiz)

 

Life may distract, sidetrack or add undue stress to our life, which makes it even more impossible for us to be a perfect mate. However, our goal is to serve and love our spouse as Christ loves and serves His Bride, the church.

 

Not as faultlessly as Jesus does, of course; but as we allow Him to love our spouse through us, we make a good team together, working in His service and allowing Him to love the world through us as well.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to live with a forgiving attitude when our mate disappoints us. Remind us not to formulate undue expectations that put unrealistic pressure on our spouse. As we serve each other, teach us to have the humility of Jesus when He washed His disciples’ feet (Matthew 23:11; John 13:13-17).

 

Remind us that none of us is perfect, and expecting our mate to be perfect is unrealistic and unhealthy. Help us to relax and to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit every moment of the day. As we serve our spouse without expecting anything in return. We want to be Your servant to our mate, and to glorify You in our every thought, word and deed.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our spouse always deserves the love of Christ through us, regardless of his/her mood, behavior, words, distraction, inattentiveness, busyness, etc.; we are not perfect and neither are they, but God loves us all, all of the time; and He uses us as vessels of His love to our mate.

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We Decrease, so He May Increase

Yellow Cosmos Flower Close-up Photography

 

The older I get, the frailer my body becomes. Falling is a constant threat due to failing balance issues. Illnesses pop up that I never experienced before now. My memory is diminishing, and my physical and mental abilities are reduced.

 

Thankfully, my spirit is stronger than ever. I have learned the voice of God, and I can follow the leading of His Spirit continually from one moment to the next. My intimacy with God is at an all-time high.

 

At the grocery store today, a fellow shopper stopped me mid-aisle and stated, “You are a Christian, aren’t you?” Surprised and humbled, but encouraged, I said, “You better believe it.” He said, “I can tell. The Holy Spirit radiates all around you.”

 

I appreciated that God chose to encourage me with those words. It reminded me of a slogan I once read, “Preach the Gospel of Jesus at all times; if necessary, use words.” Christ in us gives testimony to His unfailing presence in us, as well as His unity with us.

 

When we are at our weakest, that is when God is His strongest in us. He employs us to share His Truth with a world that is built on illusions and delusions. As we offer our life to Him as a living sacrifice, He uses us for His Glory and for the advancement of His Kingdom on the earth.
God’s grace in us and on us is sufficient for all of our needs, and His power in us is made perfect through our increasing weaknesses. We have no accomplishments on which to boast, because our feebleness allows Jesus’ power to shine through us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

 

We delight in our physical limitations, in deprivation, in abandonment, in insults from others, in persecution, and in all of our troubles and failing health; because when we are at our weakest, His power in us is at its strongest (2 Corinthians 12:10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, circumstances in the world in which we live get more perilous with each passing day. A financial collapse, a current event, or a natural catastrophe can bring the world to its knees at any moment. However, we have no need to fear, because everything is under Your ultimate control and power. Nothing is too difficult for You to work out for our ultimate good (Luke 18:27; Romans 8:28).

 

Your perfect plans unfold one day at a time. With Your powerful peace in our heart, we reflect Your light to the dying world around us. Help us to remove every trace of self-reliance from our soul, and to trust only and completely in You. Our delight is to see Your power, which works in and through us, as it draws people to You like a magnet (Matthew 5:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

As ambassadors for Christ on this earth, we cooperate as God’s Spirit uses us to plead with others, and to call them to repentance and reconciliation to God; as we all approach God with empty hearts, He can fill all of us to our fullest with all of Himself.

– 2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 3:16-19

Time Alone with God

Lake Surrounded With Green Leafed Trees

 

In the Genesis account of creation, God uses the phrase, “The evening and morning were the first day.” He repeats this expression with each consecutive day. I find it interesting that He starts His day at sundown.

 

I do this too. It is quiet during the evening hours, no ringing phones, no insistent people needing help, little traffic whirling past the house at that time, no chores demanding my attention, and plenty of time to focus on God.

 

The nation of Israel had three Night Watches:

The First or “beginning” watch from sunset to ten o’clock,

the Second or “middle” watch from ten until two, and

the Third or “morning” watch from two to sunrise.

 

Under control of the Roman Empire, Israel actually had four watches:

The “even” watch from sunset until nine,

the “midnight” watch from nine until midnight,

the “cockcrowing” watch from midnight until three, and

the “morning” watch from three until six.

 

Pick your night watch, and spend time alone with our Father God. I used to love the night watches (Genesis 1:1-29). I pondered on my bed, and reflected on God and His Word in the night watches. My favorite time was the middle watch.

 

I kept God company from ten at night until two in the morning. I created, contemplated, resonated, speculated, formulated, meditated, investigated and communicated with God’s Spirit, while other people slept.

 

I emailed scriptures to hurting people or wrote encouraging notes. I made crafty items for our personal use or for gifts. I talked to other night owls online. I played with our pets and watched a family-style movie, or just enjoy the quiet time.

 

I wrote my devotion and then posted it on my online blog every night at this time. I prayed for family and friends as God brought them to my mind. I spent time worshipping and praising our living Lord and enjoying His companionship.

 

Then we opened a Café ministry in our community, and my life has never been the same. Rejuvenating sleep is a thing of the past for me. I am currently waiting on our Daddy God to work out my sleep schedule for me.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are always waiting to fellowship with us at any time of the day or night, and we can enjoy our times together with You – even during moments of companionable silence that we share with You. Jesus often prayed all night (Luke 6:12), and I love that time too.

 

Our soul waits for You more than the watchmen who wait for morning (Psalm 130:6). Our eyes are wide-awake, our senses are alert, and our mind is totally engaged throughout our time of fellowship with You. We are in very good company with at least half of the world regardless of the hours that we share with you.

 

Thought for the Day:

The Lord puts His desires in our heart, leads us according to His will, inspires us to help those in His body who are hurting, and pours out His Spirit on us during any time that we choose to spend with Him.

Life No Longer Hurts so Much

Brown and Black Bridge

 

Have you ever noticed how God protects His Saints through every affliction and in every way? We suffer, but are never defeated; pressured, but not disheartened; attacked, but never devastated.

 

At times, circumstances rev-up beyond our ability to endure. Our body aches, conflicts plague us from the outside, and fears afflict us from within our soul. Possibly, we are even weary from life and longing for Heaven.

 

In the midst of any suffering that we experience on this earth, we recognize the symptoms of the death of Jesus in our body; but we also see the life of Christ’s resurrection manifested in our spirit, soul and body as well.

 

God always uses His Word to provide us with comfort, direction and peace. His love prevents life from hurting us so much. Although, at times, we are pressed in from all sides, issues will never crush us (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

 

Life may frustrate us, but it can never take away our hope. Christ in us is our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). As we listen to God’s Spirit, He directs each moment of our day and night, and He fills us with overflowing stamina until we soar with the eagles (Isaiah 40:31)

 

Hoping in the Lord alone eliminates our weariness, enabling us to continue on without feeling faint. He renews our strength to finish the work, which He calls us to do. Although trouble surrounds us on every side, we live in victory through Jesus.

 

Prayer:

Father God, success is sweeter after we experience trials, which test our intimacy with You. You prove Your faithfulness to us at every challenge. You provide for our needs in all of our requests, and You love us unconditionally. When life gets too hard for us, we always know that You are abiding in us, and we can do all things through Your strength (Philippians 4:13).

 

You walk with us through every hardship, encourage us in every disappointment, and comfort us in every unexpected trauma. You give us wisdom to face every challenge, and You provide Your power to see us through every difficulty. You shower us with Your joy, which is always our source of strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

Remembering that God is in control through all of our circumstances gives us confidence that there truly is a seed for a miracle in every trial (2 Corinthians 1:8-9); and when our faith is tested, we have a chance to grow in spiritual maturity and in our reliance on Him (James 1:2-4).

 

God’s Loving Patience

Pink, Grey and White Petaled Flowers Clip Art

Revealed over and over again in Biblical accounts is the fact that God never sends judgment without warning. Jonah warned Nineveh, and they repented. Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. warned the people in their age and time as well.

 

God is not willing that any should perish, but that everyone repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). He is merciful and patient with us all, giving us many opportunities to walk in His ways and to show Him our love by keeping His commandments (John 14:15).

 

Sometimes, we attempt to warn our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors about God’s coming judgement on the earth, but they turn a deaf ear or make fun of our beliefs. As long as we warn them, their blood is not on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18).

 

Some refuse to believe, even when we show them that God is fulfilling Bible prophecy of record breaking natural disasters, wars and rumors of war, financial collapses, hearts growing spiritually cold, iniquity abounding, and so many more signs to warn us about the impending judgment coming soon to planet earth.

 

God gave people in Noah’s day 120 years to repent of their wickedness, and to get on the ark before He sent the flood. They all scoffed at Noah’s warning. The Bible tells us that the same thing will happen in the last days of the world as we know it (Matthew 24:37).

 

If you are an unbeliever reading this post, I hope you will heed God’s warning. You may need to humble your pride and admit that You need Jesus as your Savior, but the pay backs are worth the humiliation and the benefits are better than you could ever imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You do not desire that any should perish. However, so many people make their own formula for life, and write You out of their equation. The people of the Old Testament did not succeed by ignoring You in their day, and mankind will not succeed by ignoring You now.

 

You give us so many warnings in Your Word, in nature, from the prophets of our day. Help us to humble our self under Your mighty hand (James 4:10); so that You will put Your desires in our heart, and we will not sin against You. We look forward to the government being on Your shoulders.

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s Word encourages us not to feel anxious about anything, but to pray about everything with thanksgiving in our heart for who the Lord is, and all that He does for us every day; this allows His peace, which comes to us in spite of our human limitations, to guard our thoughts and emotions through Christ in us.

– Philippians 4:6-7

 

Aiming to Please

Brown Wooden Dock Across Clear Ocean

We all miss the bull’s eye now and then. We take careful aim, make all the necessary adjustments, focus clearly on the target, put just the right amount of tension on the bow, and send the arrow flying…yet, we miss the mark.

 

We feel so sad, dejected, incredulous, disgusted and miserable with our self, berating our self for missing our goal once again. Yet, if we walk in the Spirit, rather than relying on our own plans, we hit the bull’s eye every time.

 

God’s Word promises us that if we will honestly confess our faults, He is faithful to justly forgive our shortcomings by the blood of Jesus’ who died to pay the penalty for our sins, and to make us holy and righteous in God’s sight (1 John 1:9).

 

He simply asks us to repent of our sins, to accept Him as our personal Redeemer and Lord, and to allow His Spirit to transform our lives. He nailed our failings to Calvary’s cross, and He sets us free to serve Him with all of our heart.

 

As a young mother, I learned to multi-task with the best of them. The older I get, however, I am more single-minded, easily forgetting why I went into a room, or what I was going to do next.

 

I used to watch myself running around after myself, playing catch up rather than following the leader. As flawed humans, our only hope is to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day. We live our best life as we follow His lead.

 

God’s Holy Spirit helps us to accomplish more in less time than it would take us to accomplish the same thing with our finite resources and human abilities. We obey the Holy Spirit, and no longer rely on our human efforts and talents.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your plan of salvation is so easy, that many of us miss the point of Your provision for us. We strain at a gnat and swallow a camel (Matthew 23:24). We spin our wheels in an attempt to please You, and to earn Your favor and love; and yet, You already gave us these as a free gift.

 

Help us to live as an example of a life filled with Your Spirit, inundated by Your peace, and immersed in Your rest, rather than running around meeting our self coming and going. You take all of the stress and worry out of life, when we focus on You and on Your plans for us each moment of the day.

 

Thought for the Day:

The bleeding, dying, risen Savior gives hope to all of mankind through His example in living, as well as in His accomplishments in dying in our place; all He asks from us is that we love Him with all of our heart, tell other people about what He does for us each day, read His Word and apply its wisdom to our life, and implicitly trust in His goodness and grace to supply all of our needs.

 

The Wonder of God’s Love

Red Roses

There is no help or refuge during times of trouble, no one who gives us more strength, love, wisdom and support as our Lord God. Through earthquakes, volcanoes, heavy storms, tsunamis, tornadoes, trials, etc. God is always there.

 

Calamity falls on the just and the unjust, the wise and the simple-minded, the poor and the wealthy, the strong and the weak (Ecclesiastes 9:11). No one is exempt from the effect of sin in this world.

 

We will have many troubles – spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical, but God promises to deliver us out of them all, and to work out our issues for our eventual good (Psalm 34:18-19; Romans 8:28).

 

God is a refuge for the oppressed, and a stronghold in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9). We can run to Him and be saved. When we take refuge in Him, He helps us and delivers us from evil (Psalm 37:39-40). We are never alone.

 

His peace and care always carry us through tribulation, and through our recovery after we experience them. He walks with us in them and through them all (Psalm 46:1-3). He is close to the broken-hearted and cares about the health of our body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

God gives us the light of His Word, so that we can use it to illuminate our path, and the path of others who follow after us. We can trust in God at all times, and pour out our heart to Him (Psalm 62:8).

 

The Lord is our sustainer (Psalm 54:4) as we walk through life (James 1:2-4). We break forth into praise at the wonder of His love. He is our Fortress, our Rock and our Shield of protection through everything that we will ever face (Psalm 59:16, 62:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, keep us from considering our self wise or to boast in our talents, wisdom, strength or riches. We know that the swift will not escape calamity, the archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, the strong will not rely on their strength, and the warrior and horseman will not save their own life.

 

You have our best interest in the forefront of Your thoughts, and You delight in meeting our needs abundantly more than we could ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). You are totally trustworthy and we place all of our cares in Your capable hands, because You care for us. We love You and lift You higher each day of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

It is only in God that we find our safety, our provision, our strength, and our salvation, and we can only depend on and rejoice in Him and His deliverance; we will be joyful in Him, because He is our God and Savior. – Habakkuk 3:18